It’s been announced by The Irish Times that ownership of the new €300 million State-funded National Maternity Hospital will be given to a religious order, The Sisters Of Charity.
The very same religious organisation has been historically known for running Magdalene laundries around Ireland, and has so far failed to provide its share of funds for a redress scheme for institutional child abuse victims.
In 2013 the nuns also stated that they, along with three other organisations who ran Magdelene laundries, would not make any financial contribution to the State redress scheme for women who had been in the laundries.
The Sisters of Charity are shareholders of the new hospital, which is part of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and will be built near Elm Park in South Dublin.
The Department of Health have said the nuns will be the “sole owner of the new hospital” and a spokesperson said that “autonomy of the national maternity hospital board will be underpinned by reserved powers.”
People have taken to Twitter to express their outrage at the decision to give the religious order such power in the healthcare of Irish women.
Christ though, in what Universe does ‘giving’ the Sisters of Charity a maternity hospital seem ok? Dark irony, meet complete tone-deafness
— David Robert Grimes (@drg1985) April 18, 2017
I’m having a lot of thoughts about the Sisters of Charity. It angers and saddens me, this wilful neglect to consider women’s feelings.
— Deirdre Sullivan (@propermiss) April 18, 2017
‘Giving’ new national maternity hospital to Sisters of Charity is an unconscionable insult to Irish women. They have no place in hospitals.
— Laura Kennedy (@LooraKennedy) April 18, 2017
Sisters of Charity to be given ownership of new €300m maternity hospital.They have yet to pay compensation to victims of abuse in their care
— Rosanna Cooney (@RosannaCooney) April 18, 2017
Calls for protests over the proposed religious ownership have been issued.